Gardens in Miniature
In December I was in London and was thrilled to be able visit the flagship of the Royal Horticultural Society, Garden Wisley. (http://www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley) As my friend who lives in London said, “It’s Mecca for Master Gardeners.” What inspired me most this trip were the miniature gardens.
I know very little of container gardening save the usual recommendations of “fillers, spillers and thrillers.” At Wisley, old stone sinks and troughs were repurposed into fantastic little beds. These interesting old stone containers were filled with the tiniest of plants nestled in between rough cut pieces of limestone and granite.
While we wouldn’t likely to be able to use the same plants because our climates are so different, I wanted to find a way to make the idea work in Austin. I picked up the Royal Horticultural Society Gardening Techniques book at a local store to see what I could find out.
- To create the effect, use an old stone container or an old rectangular porcelain sink covered with a bonding agent and a mix of concrete/peat/sand or another rectangular container with sides about 12-18 inches tall.
- Make sure there’s a drainage hole!
- Put a 2-inch layer of course gravel in the bottom of the container, filling the rest of the container with compost within 2 inches of the rim. Or, fill it to the height where you can nestle in some vertical pieces of limestone or granite, then continue to fill with compost.
- RHS Gardening Techniques recommends selecting miniature plants in keeping with the scale of the garden, so don’t choose annuals that will crowd smaller plants out.
- Once the plants are in, cover with a 1 inch layer of gravel – crushed granite would be great.
I imagined filling my container with various succulents and short stonecrop and maybe some Elfin Thyme.
I can’t wait to get started!